How To Keep Your Kids Busy (and you sane) Over The Summer.
Here’s some great news, mamas! Yes it might be hot out there but we’ve got you (or rather your energetic kids) covered when the great outdoors is out of bounds. Save your home and your sanity (the sofa won’t handle anymore bouncing about and frankly neither will you) by checking out our list of 12 places to keep sporty and active little people busy when the usual beach/park/pool routine is on hold. You see? There’s no need to panic – summer in Dubai is totally doable.
It’s universally known that little ones love colourful, high-energy experiences, so there is something to be said for good old-fashioned climbing frames and real, and wholesome physical activity. Adventure HQ by Adventure Zone offers just that, but in a temperature-controlled environment (hooray for the AC!). So what exactly is inside? Imagine a two-story playground where the lower, safer level offers just enough excitement to keep the little ones going. We’re talking a hanging swing-bridge, mini cable slider and the classic – but seriously challenging – climbing frame made out of ropes. Adventure HQ is suitable from 4 years and up (to make sure they’re secure while scaling the walls like itsy bitsy spiders). However, all kids, provided they are over 90cm, are welcome. Our youngest ones were very happy on all the equipment closer to the ground: walking along beams, tackling stepping stones and climbing rope walls always with a cheerful staff member at their side to help. And for the more adventurous? There are colourful climbing walls to scale and a high-up course to navigate (we even had a go ourselves).
Did you know that bouncing is WAY more effective than running – that jumping about on a trampoline has tons of health benefits and, more importantly, it’s great fun and will make your kiddos laugh and smile!? The Bounce trampoline park in Al Quoz (just opposite LimeTree Café – perfect for a little post jump treat…) is just the place for kids to burn off some of that excess energy. With everything from free jumping areas to dodge ball and a giant bag thing to leap onto (so much fun) plus a kids camp (which includes lunch, hoorah) and a brand new X Park area that involves getting from obstacle to obstacle for kids over 125cms, there’s plenty to enjoy.
Ever wanted to learn how to dive off one of those really REALLY high Olympic style boards?! So have we, mamas, and we bet the kids would love it too!The perfect way for complete beginners to give diving a go, DuDive’s summer camps use trampolining, gymnastics and diving to work towards the DuDive assessment criteria’s (that’s basically smart talk for getting really good at diving). This is the only springboard and high-born diving club in the whole of the UAE and is all about helping build children’s self-confidence and water confidence whilst improving coordination, flexibility and spatial awareness (and diving of course) – it’s open to all ages, they just need to be comfortable hanging about in deep water. A great way to keep active over the long, hot summer months in the very very cool world class Hamdan Sports Complex. We love the sound of this camp – and we’d secretly love to leap off that really high board…so we might just do that.
The kiddos can get active AND keep their cool at Dubai Ice Rink – whether they’re new to skating or keen on perfecting their twirls – book them in for a lesson (available from age 3 upwards) or join them on ice for a family sesh! Little skaters can be kitted out in skates and a helmet plus given a ‘penguin’ to hang onto if they’re feeling wobbly. If you haven’t checked the Dubai Ice Rink out yet, mamas, then you (or rather the kiddos) are in for a treat. An Olympic-sized rink with the opportunity to skate under gently falling snow (yes, it’s true – at certain times it actually snows), this is the perfect place to be cool this summer and hang out. Get your skates on!
Mamas, the heat is no longer an excuse to avoid exercise (for you or the kids!). Dubai Sports World offers all you active people of Dubai a chance to enjoy heaps of sports indoors during the summer months. With one of the biggest indoor playing fields, which include football, rugby, basketball, volleyball, tennis courts and more. Book a court with your fam or simply join in with other players and enjoy playing your favorite sports in the middle of summer in an indoor setting. They also run a fab sports camp for kiddos of all ages and including everything from trampolining to table tennis, yoga, dance and even an all new Ninja Warrior assault course (we want a go on that…).
If your kiddos would love to bend it like Beckham in an air-conditioned environment then Just Play in Al Quoz is a fab indoor space complete with astro-turfed pitches and a great kids academy that will teach them strategy, rules, sportsmanship and a love of the beautiful game. Maybe then they can explain what ‘offside’ actually means mamas?! They’re running a great footie camp throughout the summer for 4-12 year olds with different themes each week – the first being ‘Brazil’ where they’ll learn to play the Brazilian style of samba football with skills, tricks and flair galore. Oh and Tom & Serg is right opposite for a scrummy treat afterwards.
This gorgeous ‘surf shack’ style set up at Dubai Marine Beach Resort’s private bay is one of Dubai’s newest watersports concepts and one of the best ways to get your kiddos on and near the water! This summer, there are summer camps to get the littles enrolled in and also tonnes of watersports for them to try – from SUP to kayaking about in a Perspex canoe – the water might be warm but get there early enough and you can easily get a couple of hours outdoors before the sun gets too fierce … great way to spend a weekend morning as a fam!
Got a superhero fan on your hands, Mama? Or a little one who’s literally climbing the walls and insisting on jumping from every bit of furniture? Parkour DXB is the perfect place for them to practice their skills (safely) – in an awesome Al Serkal Avenue space (same building as Hapi – if you haven’t tried their coffee then you are seriously missing out). As well as regular kids lessons/sessions they also have a summer camp running which will teach them to run, jump, climb, and roll as they learn the various techniques and concepts of Parkour. The perfect way to keep active kids busy over the hot months (expect them to sleep well every night too – bonus!).
Did you know that your little dudes and dudettes can skateboard inside Dubai Mall?! (and no we don’t mean up and down all the lanes and avenues although…that’s not a bad idea!). The Rage store on the 2nd Floor (near Galleries Lafayette) not only sells all the gear but also has its very own skate bowl – and while their team are busy at Dubai Sports World over the summer (head there for more skate boarding opportunities), if your kids have their own skate boards they can take them along to the skate bowl and do their thing for free! OR you can rent a board for not very much if they don’t have their own. We’d try it ourselves but might just leave this one to the cool kids…
How can we not mention skiing – or snowboarding – or even just running about throwing snowballs or toboganning down a mini Cresta run, in the desert?! Fun for the whole family, Ski Dubai is the world’s largest indoor snow park, housing an amazing 3,000 square meters of super soft snow! So trade your flip-flops in for some snow boots and take your littles along to master the slopes.
Psst…they also run a summer camp but places often book up fast – if you can get in then do it – we’ve heard great things!
We love this new addition to the Football Center in Al Quoz – a room dedicated to perfecting ninja skills around a super fun course that includes balancing, jumping, climbing and navigating. The perfect way for active kids (we’d say aged 6 and up – it’s not really for the littles) to get moving. Sessions from AED 80 per hour but look out for deals!
For as little as AED 40 your active little peeps can be scaling a climbing wall inside GO Sport, on the top floor of Mall Of The Emirates (just next to Common Grounds…handy for a post climb bite!). No pre-booking is required and they’ll loan you all of the equipment you need so just show up and scale up that wall!
Psst.. keep an eye out for special offers like half price climbs for kids!
Hero image by Kaya. All images sourced via respective brands social media handle.